Sri Lankans to get visa on arrival in India

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – India will give Sri Lankans the visa on arrival facility in a bid to strengthen ties between the two neighbours and improve contact between the peoples, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

"People are at the heart of our relations," Modi declared in a speech soon after talks with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during a two-visit to the island that began Friday.

"We have taken a number of decisions to encourage people to people contacts, improve connectivity, and increase tourism," he said.

"We will extend the facility of ‘Tourist Visa on Arrival – Electronic Travel Authorization’ Scheme to Sri Lankan citizens from the Sinhala and Tamil New Year on 14 April 2015."

Modi also said Air India will soon start direct flights between New Delhi and Colombo.

The two countries will also co-operate on tourism, he said.

"We will cooperate in developing a ‘Ramayana Trail’ in Sri Lanka and a Buddhist Circuit in India."

India will also organize a Festival of India in Sri Lanka later this year.

"Sri Lanka is where Buddhism has truly flourished," Modi said.

"We will be organizing an exhibition showcasing our Buddhist heritage as part of this festival."